My addiction started at a young age.
My parents are both addicts and saw the Baptist church down the street as free childcare and would drop my sisters and I off every time the doors were open. I learned about Jesus and answered an alter call at 8 years old for him to be my personal Savior.
I wanted so badly to believe, but every time I left the church and walked back into the reality of my life, I couldn't see any evidence of love at all, much less unconditional love.
After four years of searching and coming up empty, I decided to identify myself as an atheist. I spent the next 14 years trying to fill the void that was left in God's place. At 16, I started using drugs and, by age 19, addiction was my lifestyle.
However, something deep within me knew that this wasn't what my life was meant to be.
In April 2017, I woke up and felt a sense of urgency like I had never experienced before. I was panicked, I had to do something, I had to get help. I had no idea at the time that it was the Holy Spirit! I went to rehab and during the 28 days I was there, I began reading the Bible, going to church, and was even baptized. I was going through the motions. I was doing what I saw everyone else doing…but it wasn't personal yet.
At the end of my 28 days, I wasn't ready to face the world again. God knew that and, in His sovereignty, placed a woman in my path. She knew Jesus personally and told me about a place called Son Shine Lighthouse—a faith based program for women just like me.
That decision shaped the rest of my life.
Through Son Shine Lighthouse, I heard about Heartisans.
I was still extremely uncertain about…well, everything…when I walked through the doors at Heartisans. I knew who I was in Christ, but I had no idea how that translated into the world. I was ready to take the next step this time, but I wasn't sure where to start.
The atmosphere is full of love here and it is evident God has handpicked every single staff member and volunteer and placed them at Heartisans. Whether through leading or encouraging, each individual is using the gifts God has given them to serve.
Through Heartisans, I have learned what it looks like to have godly character as an employee, discovered my strengths, chosen a career path based off of those strengths, and enrolled in college for the fall which is something I never thought I could do!